William Hartnell -- still credited as "Billy" -- flirts with stardom as "the Agitator". Convinced that his father was paid nothing for a key invention, he calls the father of the factory's owner a thief. When the factory owner investigates, he discovers his father had paid only a hundred pounds. When he dies a short time later, he leaves everything to Hartnell, who plans to run the business on socialist lines.
It's a tract decrying the socialist notion that management and ownership is theft, and I've seen other examples from post-war Britain. In fact, I recently read a novel, HEPPLESTALL, about business management and class warfare -- I read it because it was by Harold Brighouse, who wrote HOBSON'S CHOICE. It was a real snorer.
This movie is based on a novel and I suspect that, like many a movie based on a novel, it does not cover the intellectual side of its source well. Too many of the characters are reduced to stock figures that depend on an excellent cast to bring them to life. Fortunately, the cast is an excellent one, with John Laurie, Moore Marriott, George Carney, Cathleen Nesbitt, and a host of other fine performers doing a good job. The result is a highly watchable work that, alas, reduces the real issues to melodrama.
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